Published on January 8th, 2019 | by Diane Chidrawi
Sho Madjozi keeps breaking boundaries
Kicking off 2019 on a high note Apple Music shines the New Artist Spotlight on energetic Xitsonga rapstar Sho Madjozi.
With a distinctive rap and fashion style inspired by her Xitsonga language and culture, Sho’s highly anticipated debut album, Limpopo Champions League was released on the 14th of December 2018. This 13-track celebration of what it means to be young and African topped the Apple Music album chart in it’s first week.
The song ‘KONA’, an exhilarating affirmation of her Tsonga culture verbalizes that Tsonga people belong everywhere, while the lively track ‘Don’t Tell Me What to Do’ is a fun rift of a carefree African girl. The album also features her hit Swahili language single “Huku”, which put her on high rotation, and ‘Wakanda Forever’, featuring Nigerian artist Ycee, which celebrates Madjozi’s love for African heritage. The album also saw her work with South African rap luminary Kwesta on“Wa Penga Na?”
Madjozi whose real name is Maya Wegerif grew up travelling the African continent with her father who worked for NGOs in countries like Tanzania, Senegal and beyond. This continent-wide upbringing has inspired her Pan African creative outlook and sound.
First, launching herself as Maya The Poet, Madjozi started out ghost-writing lyrics for other rappers. It was Okmalumkoolkat who encouraged her to rap herself and featured her on his hit single “Gqi”.
These days Madjozi is a headline act at high-level gigs across the continent and intentionally. Her recent performance at The Global Citizen Festival alongside international superstars like Chris Martin, Pharrell Williams, Ed Sheeran, as well as Beyonce and Jay-Z, confirmed her rising star.
Speaking about her selection as Apple Music’s first New Artist Spotlight for 2019 Sho Madjozi said: “Wow what a time to be young, African and living in the time of Gqom! I’m so excited that the Apple Music team is as excited for this movement as we are. It’s an honor to be in their new artist spotlight. I’m so happy I could cry.”
The Apple Music New Artist Spotlight is an artist development feature where a light is shone on a new South African artist each month, giving them four weeks of editorial support across the Apple Music ecosystem as a Hero artist, inclusion in the Mzansi Hits Room and key Apple Music playlists such as The A-List: South Africa, Best of the Week, Gqom Nation and more.
Previous South African artists to have benefited from The Apple Music New Artist Spotlight include, Simmy, Dope Saint Jude, Darkie Fiction, A Year On Earth, Dutchkid, Emerger, Thandi Ntuli, The Big Hash, Diamond Thug, Sun-El Musician, Shekhinah, Shane Eagle, Elandre, Sketchy Bongo, Amanda Black, Babes Wodumo, Sipho The Gift, Johnny Cradle, Tholwana, Lucy Kruger, Moonga K, Josh Kempen and Alice Phoebe Lou.
With over 50 million songs, Apple Music offers a free 3-month trial with no commitment and is ad-free. Apple Music is available on iPhone and iPad and also for download from Google Play for Android devices.